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Subject: Incredible sound, strong performance
Vibrant SBD. If only they all sounded this clean. Can't complain much thou, smile, smile, smile!
Subject: What can I say...
You always remember your first Dead show, and this is it. Oh, to be baptized by Shakedown Street. The beginning of a long friendship with Music that remains my favorite today. Thanks to the Dead, and what a trip it has been.
Dylan M -
Subject: I am Baffled
This show is a total winner, and seems to be getting little to no recognition for it. The recording itself is top notch. Phil and Brent equal to Jerry and Bob in the mix.
Great song selection for 1st set. The early Esau is well taken and still fresh. Nice Keep on Growing that draws from a special source of high-camp. Good energy, good first set.
Second Set has a energy arousing Shakedown opener, but the real magic starts to be unveiled at Samson and Ship of Fools, where a certain kinship and comfort zone is reached and attained so the boys can channel their wavelength into something special. Brent in particular is REALLY on tonite, putting in that extra vocal effort, giving the Dead quite a gorgeous consistent harmony throughout the night. This makes his hit or miss, Maybe You Know, actually enjoyable with an upbeat, 80's uber-pop layer. He's Gone has this ridiculous vocal outro with the vocals transforming as much as the instrumentals. Bob Star is goofy but still fits the mood. Post Drums Space features the (possibly) best 80s GDTRFB I have ever heard. Jerry revives the instrumental bridge before the vocals rather than lazily just letting the song happen. Everyone is inspired. After the Chuck Berry double whammy a great nite comes to an end.
Anyone bitching about this show is obviously not listening to the recording. Top Notch all around, especially for 83'. Stop gloating in your personal story about how you felt on that nite and take the music for what is is!
dirty sancho -
Subject: kind budz & coffee
crispy sbd, only 2nd set though.
Subject: What a pisser
I'm not sure if I enjoyed this show at all. I liked the company I kept, the strangers from Stamford, CT who drive me up to the concert. I for some reason couldn't take a piss during the entire trip. The worst case of state fright possible. Couldn't do it on the side of the freeway, rest stops, after the cop stopped us and asked ``are you all carrying any grass?'', couldn't pee at the venue or after partly because the I couldnt see past my hallucinations and therefore lost the car and people that would've ditched me if showed up 20 minutes later (thanks BK for finding me wandering), couldn't jerk a drop under the downpour. Nobody had tickets to the Bern, well only me so I couldnt relieve myself because I was busy convincing them to drive me to Jersey cause ``fuck, I have fourth row center seats.'' I think I found relief in Jersey but not because the show was all that great.
early 80's meltdown -
Subject: This april run was killer.
Brent is gets a little sick on Stranger. I like the differnt effects Brent was exploring with in 83 compared to just a year ago staying with a more straight forward regular piano country sound and a year before that '81 He seemed to be stuck on a kind of jangly sound. Thats a big reason Iam a fan of 83-84. Its Brents sound, He's out there with all kinds of different trippy effects using multiple keyboards and synths and his B-3. Some of his stuff primarliy in spring of 84 is so nuts. Its like Star Wars and Atari pscchedelia that you can see. Off the top of my head Hult 84 Scarlet>Touch>Fire-Terrapin and I heard alot of this stuff in the the 6-30-84 Indiana show.
Anyway this show is a absolute killer!
nice clean tight sound.
i dont really know what to say about this show first bob star but was bob star really that great?? nice shakedown and the second set really took off first set nothing special spring 83 had its moments but this was not one of them but a great effort nonetheless 2.5 stars
Subject: very choice & compelling
I've got no job at the moment, so i've been putting mucho time into hunting down high quality pre 84 GD shows. This one has A sound -- very crisp, great balance, vocals out front where they belong, and nice bass action w/o being over blown.
The performance here is also choice. Ship, He's Gone> Little Star > drums = good stuff. Don't sleep on April 83. Peace.
Subject: 5 star sound
Awesome soundboard. Sounds like one of those old PCM tapes, not a grain of hiss or "dolbyness" to be found. Show is good, but the Bob Star isn't as good as the Bob Star> Other One at the Meadowlands. Too bad that was preceded by the nasty Stephen Stills Black Queen.
This show is a must have.
Subject: Road Trip
At noon on Friday April 12, 1983, I was returning back to my apartment from classes at Kent State University when my classmate Jon from Scarsdale, NY (Jon, are you still out there?) said his two pals at U. of Buffalo had an extra pair of guest passes for the Grateful Dead concert that night in Rochester and asked if I would be interested in driving up to Buffalo to pick up the two pals, then drive to the show. As as extra, "carrot on a stick," Jon and his friends would pay for the gas and all forms of food, libation and recreational sitmulation.
Being it was the start of the weekend, and feeling a bit adventurous, Jon and I jumped into my 1979 Ford Pinto and drove four hours up to Buffalo, where his friends treated us to sandwiches, Jack Daniels, Coke (not the drink) and magical Snoppy blotters. Feeling quite elevated and doing a bad job of hiding our illegal grins, we literally floated to Rochester.
The details from there on are kinda sketchy but I do recall moving past the ticket takers, hearing the opening chords of "Shakedown Street," seeing lots of twirling fabrics of purple and lavender and the scent of patchouli and body oder was everywhere.
All of a sudden, I looked around and realized that my fellow travelers were gone and I was alone, stoned out of my mind 8 hours from home and feeling a bit apprehensive (no, make that VERY apprehensive). As I moved amongst the mezzanine masses performing their twirls and pretzel bending exercises to the rhythms of the Dead, I suddenly felt like I was surrounded by close friends who made me feel like "it's cool, enjoy!" I couldn't stop grinning; it was as though I had discovered the meaning of life and how to complete the Rubic's Cube all at the same time. I now had focus-ness and knew it was time to witness The Dead!
In what I only call to this day as devine intervention, I was suddenly tranported inside the arena bowl, witnessing Garcia and Co. casting their musical spell with "Brown-eyed Women," turning to my right and finding my traveling companions standing next to me. We congratulated one another for our good fortune (they especially since I had the car keys) and we partied along with the Dead and 15,000 close friends for what seemed like hours and hours.
When the second set started with "Feel Like A Stanger" and "Sampson and Deliah," it felt like someone had pushed the pedal to the metal and the show moved into hyperdrive, the whole area in unison singing "crazy, crazy night" and "I would tear this old building down" along with Bob.
The most memorable moment of the evening had to be when the final "nothing's gonna bring him back" of "He's Gone" dissolved into "Bob Star." The people around me were stunned into utter disbelief. Not until after the show was I told how foutunate I was to have witnessed such a unique event; according to deadlists.com, Bob Star was performed live only 3 times. I later recall being introduced at parties around Kent as "The guy who witnessed a Bob Star," which made me a minor celebrity and was the cause of some jealousy by people who had seen the Dead 37 times and I saw Bob Star at my first show but that's another can of worms.
During the drums and space portion I was wondering if this was how colors and shapes would sound if they could talk; I started laughing out loud and people around me were laughing right back, even though I never opened my mouth. Perhaps they were having the same revelation! Hmmmm!
Eventually, the pieces of sounds regained a sense of cohesiveness and Bob and the gang were singing about kids dancing and shaking their bones, which then morphed into "NFA" and a very tasty "GDTRFB."
At the ending solo of "GDTRFB," it sounded as though the set was about end when, suddenly, Garcia put the show on his shoulders (must have been some good speed or something) and he literally dragged the band and the entire audience (twistin, shoutin, screaming and laughing) into "Around and Around" and ended the set with "Johnny B. Good." Bob sang but Jerry was definitely the driver of this bus!
The band left the stage as the audience (moi included) was physically and mentally exhausted, delirous and haywired. A few moments later, the band returned to encore with Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," a nice counterpoint and ending to a job well done and not just by teh Dead; it was at this point that the whole X-Factor concept that I was told about before the show between band and audience made complete sense.
When the arena lights went on, I sat stunned, amazed and drained by what I had just experienced; my companions and just about everyone else in eyesight had the same look that I felt.
The evening ended with a drive back to Buffalo and staying up until 6 in the morning listening to one of Jon's friends jamming on his acoustic guitar to Dead bootlegs.
The ride back to Kent on Saturday and later that night describing my experience to friends (and trying to read the scribbled notes I made of the show's set list) also brings back the illegal grin 21 years later.
Junp forward to the year 2001: I searched through some Grateful Dead internet forums and contacted a friendly taper who hooked me up with a cassette of the 2nd set from the 04/15/83 show, which wasn't the greatest quality but at least it brought that magical journey of years ago out of the closet and proved that it really did happen, warts and all!
It should be noted here that I was familar with the Grateful Dead via radio and bootleg tapes before the 04/15/83 show but never had the opportunity to see them live, even though they had passed though my hometown of Cleveland a number of times. After my Magical Mystery Tour to Rochester, I did see the Dead live about 10
more times, not alot but enough to keep the vibe going. I've also listened to the Grateful Dead Hour radio program over the years and have collected and enjoyed listening to taped Dead shows on cassette and CD-ROM. But there is something truly special about your first Grateful Dead concert!
Now, jump forward to today: Thanks to Archive.org, the entire 04/15/83 show lives on in my consciousness,
and in clear soundboard clarity in my CD player, no less!
I am truly "Grateful" to Archive.org for helping to bring my Dead memories back to life, side effects, illegal grins and all the rest, and for turning me on to many shows that I missed, as well!
Major Kudos to the folks at Archive.org! Thank You Very Much!!!